Santander Towns and Cities Index – Best Locations for Business

Santander has recently published a study completed by Birmingham University which investigates the competitive business position of 74 UK towns and cities and London Boroughs. Each town and city was scored against five comparable criteria including:

  • Enterprise – business vitality and sustainability
  • Talent – calibre and availability of qualified talent
  • Connectivity – in terms of internet provision
  • Costs – CO2 emissions, local taxes and house prices
  • Well-being – economic well-being and prosperity

The study assesses each city on each of the above five criteria individually and also provides a consolidated score. The 74 towns and cities represent a population of 24 million people and around 741,000 businesses. The focus of the study was on private sector businesses, public sector organisation were not included.

Overall the top 3 towns and cities are:

  1. Cambridge
  2. Oxford
  3. Edinburgh

All three of the top cities ranked highly in terms of enterprise and talent. This indicates that a sustainable business base located in close proximity to a suitable talent pool is critical to create favourable business conditions.

Regionally the top cities and towns in the South East included: Oxford, Worthing, Crawley, Reading, Brighton and Aldershot. Cambridge came top in the East of England, Edinburgh in Scotland, Solihull in the West Midlands and Bristol in the South West.

What is clear from the study is that location does have a big impact on the chances for enterprise success and growth of businesses in the UK. Business environments vary significantly from city to city across the UK. Although the Santander study is a very useful assessment of the UK business environment and would significantly help a potential investor identify supportive and sustainable cities to set up a business; an understanding of the target business’s industry sector and the relevant industry clusters in the UK is essential.

If you would like a full copy of the Santander Towns and Cities Index report please Mike Campbell, Managing Director on +44 7771 615641 or  Or further information regarding Campbell Ventures please refer to and